We in Western countries should be able to have faith in our safety systems. But, and isn't there always a but, remember the Rhode Island nightclub fire? One hundred odd killed. Where were the fire safety systems? The fire brigade arrived in less than five minutes of the fire starting, and yet, still, so many injured and dead.
London bombings.....the rescue authorities would not enter the Underground unless they were assured the power was switched off. No one could assure them, resulting in massive delays and possibly more deaths than might have been.
And now we have our own City Loop, where our trains go underground around the city. Reports as to how it would cope with an emergency do no sound promising. I assume it stands for all emergency services but at least one has said that it will not enter the Loop unless the power is not only shut off, but earthed. Apparently there are only four people on the system who can do this. I understand that for complete safety, as well as turning the power off, there needs to be a connection from the overhead wires to the track in case of faulty electrics. I would imagine there is a high tech device that can do this, but to me, it sounds like it is a very manual operation for our City Loop. It also seems fire exits are locked? This has been proven around the world to be disastrous practice.
In your home, your own safety is your business. While it may be illegal for you to not have smoke detectors, when is that ever enforced? Within the home and when out on the street we need to depend on our wits to keep ourselves safe.
But when we depend on others, such as our public transport system, we need to have complete confidence in public facilities. This includes not only public transport, but in shopping systems, entertainment venues and hotels. I for one do not feel confident that the twenty year old plus City Loop is up to scratch in the case of a serious emergency.
Much later edit: When a terrible crash and fire happened in a City Link tunnel, the water deluge system perhaps saved many people by dumping water on the fire. It is to the credit of those involved that the water deluge system was installed, although I seem to recall that it was touch and go as to whether it would be. There is no such thing in the City Loop.